Bruce Dickinson, "Kill Devil Hill." From the album A Tyranny of Souls (2005). Man, we're long overdue for a new Bruce Dickinson solo album. His solo work, at least for me, has been far better than Iron Maiden's records in recent years. My shuffle seems to love this song, which naturally, deals with the Wright Brothers' first flight. It's one of those great, dramatic Dickinson tunes.
Savatage, "Gutter Ballet." From the album Gutter Ballet (1989). This album marked Savatage's first experimentation with a more symphonic sound, and this track, the second on the record, was the first time we'd heard piano and symphonics in the band's music. It showed us that, in addition to singing his butt off, Jon Oliva could deliver a good haunting piano line, and the song as a whole, with that huge symphonic and guitar riff after the chorus is a powerful piece.
Suicidal Tendencies, "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow." From the album How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today (1988). This is my favorite Suicidal song, bar none. It's a song that, being the morbid pessimist that I am, I've greatly identified with over the years. I love the progression from sadness and confusion to anger and the desire to prove the world wrong. There's no better example, in my mind, of what Mike Muir does best.
Shooter Jennings, "The Real Me." From the album Family Man (2012). My favorite track from Family Man. How could you resist that rapid-fire "double-talking, chicken-licking, meaner than the dickens, sick and wicked, hole digging, picking son of a gun" chorus?
Queensryche, "Fear City Slide." From the album Operation: Mindcrime II (2006). I wanted so badly for this record to live up to Mindcrime, and I liked it at the time -- still like parts of it -- but, of course, it couldn't match the original. "Fear City Slide" has the feel of the original album, if perhaps not the heaviness. Tate sounds great on it, too. The chorus doesn't do much for me, and the thin production on the record didn't do it any favors.
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